We learned shortly after the franchise tender extension deadline that Le’Veon Bell turned down a lucrative contract offer from the Steelers. Apparently, things weren’t that cut and dry. On July 17, Steelers officials thought they had reached agreement with Bell’s agent on a five-year deal. However, at the last minute, Bell nixed the contract, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Meanwhile, agent Adisa Bakari says he and his client never had any agreement with the Steelers. “All stories to contrary are false,” he told ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link).
The deal would have given Bell more than $12MM annually on average and roughly $30MM across the first two years, Bouchette hears. According to previous reports, he would have seen ~$42MM over the first three seasons. Sources tell Bouchette that Bell said no because he is pushing for $15MM annually, a sum that he first demanded in a rap track recorded last year.
“I’m not a real greedy guy. I don’t play football just for money or things like that. I just want to be valued — whether it’s $15 million or lower or higher, whatever it is,” Bell told ESPN after releasing his song. “I think we will get to an agreement eventually.”
Bell is slated to play out the year on the one-year, $12.12MM tender. He is currently staying away from the team, but it is expected that he will be back before the start of the regular season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.